Monday, 15 November 2010

All in this together? Osborne plans to CUT bank tax

Now, we know that some senior figures in the banking industry aren't on planet earth. A few are, and recognise the fact that the public is, quite rightly, more than a tad annoyed about the mess they've left us in.

Gideon Osborne, however, occupies a distinct rocky outpost that is depressingly familiar to followers of modern politics - Planet PR. When it comes to regulation or taxation of large corporations, one of the key policy preferences for those occupying this sphere of the political world is how to neutralise public clamouring for action with the very minimum of actual change. So, for example, Osborne is introducing a bank levy to (supposedly) rein in bonuses and try to recoup some of the vast swathes of public cash spent bailing out the industry. All very laudable.

However, we now learn that he'll actually act to reduce the levy if it brings in too much money.

Is it just this blog, or is the fact that the levy may bring in so much cash a telling sign that, as far as bonuses are concerned, it really is back to business as usual? And is this a politician acting out of fear of an exodus of financial firms from the UK or is this a Conservative acting cynically to ensure that his populist measure doesn't actually have the teeth that it is so publicly billed as having?

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